“There will be no programmers in five years,” according to Emad Mostaque, founder and CEO of Stability AI.
In a recent interview with Peter Diamandis during the Abundance360 summit Mostaque spoke about how AI was transforming industries like coding and other future AI developments that he anticipates.
Stability AI is at the forefront of multiple open-source AI projects, including their popular image generator, as well as DNA, protein folding, and language model research. As the CEO of the company, Mostaque seems well-placed to make a bold statement about the fate of programmers, and current industry trends seem to support his views.
GitHub is an online repository for storing code and collaborating on programming projects. Mostaque said that data from GitHub shows that “41% of all code right now is AI-generated.” He also said that ChatGPT can now “pass the Glue Level 3 programmer exam.”
The Challenger Report released in May 2023 gave AI as the reason for 3,900 or 5% of all job losses in the US thus far this year. Although it didn’t specify how many of those were coding jobs, it doesn’t bode well for the sector.
OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, trained its models on code that was scraped from Github, which is owned by its largest investor, Microsoft. Their coding product called Codex can translate natural language into code and is already used by programmers to shorten development cycles.
Earlier in 2023 Semafor reported that OpenAI had been quietly hiring hundreds of programmers to improve their Codex product to the point where human programmers would become obsolete.
Mostaque didn’t make his statement on the future of programmers as a warning of impending doom. Rather he explained that creative skilled people would be freed from the drudgery of writing code, allowing them to focus on the exciting developments AI is making possible.
“You can do anything now,” he said, explaining that Stable Diffusion and other AI tools will scale people’s creativity. He also said that by the end of 2024, you can expect to be able to use ChatGPT on your mobile phone without the need for it to be connected to the internet.
Mostaque stressed the importance of “focusing on the unchanging versus the inevitable.” The need for creative people to design solutions to serve society’s needs is unchanging. The end of humans writing code seems inevitable.